We're about to share a shocking stat. But first, we encourage you to sit down. Grab a glass of water and a Tylenol to help with the aftershock.
Your sellers forget 80% of what they learn in your new employee onboarding process within 30 days without reinforcement. This is because your sellers are subject to The Forgetting Curve. The Forgetting Curve describes how new sellers (and everyone else, for that matter) retain or lose information that they take in.
It's a scary-looking curve, right? It reveals that, immediately after an onboarding session, your sellers know 100% of what they just learned. That’s as high as the curve ever gets. With each day that goes by after that, their brains remember less and less. By day seven, your new sellers will retain about 10% of what they learned in the original hour.
The Problem with Sales Team Onboarding (Or Any Employee Onboarding, for that Matter)
The Forgetting Curve shows what happens to new information without reinforcement. We get it—we’ve all been the newbie on the job “drinking from the fire hose.”
But your challenge is far greater than simple forgetfulness. There are a number of challenges we face in today’s onboarding processes. Thankfully, there is a better way. But first, let’s look at the challenges.
Onboarding Takes Just About ForeverThe typical new-seller onboarding process takes four weeks. Every day spent in training, learning the ins and outs of your business or reading through past collateral is a day when a new seller isn’t selling. And don’t even get us started on the dangers of outdated sales collateral that your new sellers may be spending time on.
The longer your onboarding process is, the more time sellers spend not selling.
Onboarding is SiloedA typical onboarding process requires new hires to visit multiple departments within the company to learn about the business, its products and services, company policies and plenty more.
First stop on the journey is sales, of course. Then your new reps trek on over to marketing to watch their presentation. Then they head over to human resources to look at their binder. And then it’s off to visit the product managers to read their spec sheets. Without insight into what a new sales rep is given by each department and how it’s being explained, this round-robin exercise is time-consuming, inefficient and uncoordinated.
Onboarding is ExcruciatingTypical seller onboarding is a pain in the a$$. We mean figuratively, but it’s your personal business if it’s literally, too.
New hires are required to sit for days-on-end in darkened rooms, subjected to death by PowerPoint (they’re called “bullets” for a reason, folks). The material is dense, and taught in one direction—the instructor talks, the students listen. There is little interaction, or fun, involved.
Onboarding is OverwhelmingIf you won't admit it, then we will. Onboarding involves way too much material. Why are we setting our new sellers up for analysis paralysis in the first few days, anyways?
We're talking product specs. Call scripts. Brand messaging guidelines. Product differentiators. Competitor analysis. And on and on. Companies expect their new reps to learn and retain too much, too quickly.
Okay, So What's the Sales Team Onboarding Solution?
One way to make your onboarding process shorter, centralized, interesting and efficient is to use a sales enablement platform.
Yep, we expected to see some confused faces out in the crowd.
A Centralized Hub for All Company ContentWith a sales enablement platform, all of your company resources are stored in one central location, ideally in the cloud, so that your sellers access it from anywhere, at any time, on any device. When we say all, we mean all: pitch decks, email templates, case studies, product information, rules of engagement, competitor comparisons, lead qualification scripts, discovery call questions. All are housed in one place for easy retrieval.
And, speaking of easy retrieval, a good sales enablement platform allows you to organize all assets using collections and tags. This makes onboarding training materials easily searchable.
Interactive LearningEffective learning comes in short snippets for just-in-time scenarios. We mentioned above the startling stat of retention. Forget the heavy, ‘just-in-case’ learning where reps spend days or even weeks in classroom settings. A sales enablement platform that delivers just what reps need when they need helps increase their situational fluency. This leads to better engagement with buyers that helps them along in their buying journey.
GamificationWould you rather have someone talk at you for hours or scroll on your phone? No this isn’t a trick question.
We'll go first. Obviously, scroll on our phones. 📲
But with the right sales enablement platform, you can do both during employee onboarding.
A sales enablement platform will allow your new sales team to use that same familiar digital experience they’re used to for personal use, only this time, to learn.
Coaching DataPart of your job is coaching your sellers to improve their performance. To do that well, you need data.
A good sales enablement platform shows you hard numbers on seller engagement, content usage, and more. You’ll get insights into what content they’re accessing, how often they’re using the platform, and more. This can help you identify gaps in your onboarding process or understand which pieces of content are or aren't working for your reps.
A Sales Enablement Platform Isn't For Internal Use Only
Our sales reps want to be educated during their onboarding process. Our buyers are no different.
With B2B buyers preferring self-education via digital experiences over engagements with sales reps, it’s vital that you enable your sales reps and partners to gain access to buyers for your go-to-market initiatives. Download our free ebook to learn how.